Sex workers feeling threatened by crackdown on prostitution near Olympic site


Richard Hall@_richardhall
Monday 02 July 2012 14:19

A crackdown on prostitution in the Olympic boroughs is putting the lives of sex workers at risk, it has been claimed.

New figures show that arrests of prostitutes in the areas surrounding the Olympic site in Newham have increased dramatically in the run-up to the Games.

In Tower Hamlets, the number of arrests made in the first two-and-a-half months of this year has exceeded the total made 2011. Arrests have also risen in Newham.

Eighty brothels across the five Olympic boroughs have been closed in the past year, compared to 29 closures in London's other 32 boroughs, and prostitutes are being barred from the area under new bail conditions.

A support group for sex workers has claimed that the crackdown is forcing women to move into unfamiliar areas, where they are more at risk of attack.

"Security systems among women on the street are being busted up and women displaced into unfamiliar areas.

"Women are having to work harder and take more risks to make the same money," said Cari Mitchell, of the English Collective of Prostitutes.

The group renewed its calls for the legalisation of prostitution in order to avoid sex workers becoming the victims of attacks.